Down East Flick Fest: A tool for aspiring and professional filmmakers to share their work, get feedback, and earn some street cred.


Picture it… writers, actors, poets, and other odd-jobbers with over 100 years of writing and media experience in a smoke-filled bodega, scotch and gin flowing like water as they engage in highfalutin banter. Well, DEFF began in more of an incense-filled tea room, with Earl Grey flowing like… well, tea.

DEFF is an initiative of a local Greenville-based communication think-tank and collaborative arts organization. The film festival, organized as a not-for-profit community organization, has been established to create opportunities for artists to audience exchanges in order to foster better communities through the creative medium of film.


Down East Flick Fest (DEFF) is dedicated to providing an annual user-friendly showcase for independent filmmakers, writers, actors and other artists. The festival’s organizers hope to discover, support, and inspire independent film and theater artists throughout North Carolina, the United States and around the world as we introduce audiences to their new work. We create opportunities to support new talent and entertain audiences throughout the year.


To enhance understanding and appreciation of new cinematic traditions as a powerful tool for communication, artistic expression and economic development.  DEFF strives diligently to present emerging genres and creative presentations of cinema to a wider and more diverse audience and at the same time bring together industry professionals, film societies, upcoming and established filmmakers, and technical experts.

Emerging Team Leaders 

Phebe Cantey

Phebe Cantey

Director of Communications & Student Filmmaker Initiative

As an Eastern North Carolinian from a community of poets, performers, visual artists, and storytellers, I have always been fascinated with the use of the arts as an expression of what is uncomfortable – what would rather be left unsaid. Throughout history the arts have been used for marketing, propaganda, pure entertainment, etc. and no matter how miniscule, it all revolves around the art of storytelling. This is what led me to pursue a degree in Theatre Arts from Campbell University  for my undergraduate degree and then return again in pursuit of an MBA. I think North Carolina in particular has a plethora of untold stories that can be tapped into from a vast, diverse group of people. We have it all here and I like to think the richness of this diverse land – both demographically and geographically – has significantly impacted the history here. Storytelling is important, because it is a way to pass down our history and lessons from generations prior. It connects all types of people in the most intimate form, because “out of what we live and we believe, our lives become the stories that we weave” –Why We Tell the Story from Once On This Island.

Madison Nicole Boone

Madison Nicole Boone

Director of Social Media Management & Content Creator

As a native of Nash County, I am permanently connected to the stories and traditions that surround down-home living. Those very stories and traditions led me to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in English at East Carolina University and soon after, a Master of Arts in English concentrated in Technical and Professional Communication through ECU as well. I have a passion for transforming the discourse on our area and for improving community-focused communication for the benefit of all of us in Eastern North Carolina. The Down East Flick Fest’s growing ecosystem of resources for filmmaking and storytelling is a crucial step in keeping our community’s stories and legacy alive. I am thrilled to be a part of the future of DEFF by helping build a lasting platform for filmmakers of all backgrounds and experience levels to thrive, share, and showcase their own narratives.